PHOENIX - The family of a man shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer is suing the cop's former partner alleging he failed to stop the officer from using excessive force.
On Tuesday, former Phoenix police officer Richard Chrisman was charged with in the fatal 2010 shooting of 29-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and his dog. Chrisman claimed he acted in self- defense.
Chrisman testified how pepper spray and his stun gun failed to stop the Rodriguez's aggressive behavior as the two then struggled, and Rodriguez picked up a bicycle from the living room floor.
"He was going to smash my brains in. ... I fired two rounds, center mass," Chrisman told jurors during his trial.
Jurors found an aggravating factor in the case and Chrisman now faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a minimum of five years.
During the trial, Chrisman's partner, Sergio Virgillo, testified for Rodriguez's family saying he saw no threat justifying the use of deadly force.
But despite his testimony, Rodriguez's family is suing Virgillo.
The suit claims, “Officer Virgillo has an opportunity to intervene and stop Officer Chrisman from using excessive force against Daniel and failed to do so."
The family says Officer Virgillo knew that Chrisman was going to shoot Rodriguez sooner or later and he turned away to "get out of the danger zone."
Rodriguez's family is seeking financial compensation and punitive damages.
ABC15 tried to reach the Rodriguez family's attorneys for comment, but they never returned our calls. Neither did the attorney representing the City of Phoenix and Officer Virgillo.
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